DRURY'S VEHICLE SERVICES LTD
DRURY'S GROW WITH NEW BUSINESS VENTURE
The Drury family started in business just after the 2nd world war with a small transport business based in the North Norfolk village of Southrepps consisting of a converted ambulance! Most of the work in those early days was carrying farm animals and this wonderful black and white photograph from the Drury archives shows Mr B E Drury (Billy) and his son Michael at the local livestock market.
The business has now grown to a group of companies with a fleet of modern long distance haulage trucks and waste lorries and a purpose built range of warehouses for storage of customers goods.
With Michael Drury still at the helm it was decided by the owners that the companies own vehicle workshops needed modernising and that customers might want a local facility for their heavy goods vehicles. With an investment of circa £1 million a new building was constructed on land already owned on Cornish Way North Walsham and in 2016 Drurys Vehicle Services Ltd was formed.
After a lengthy process in meeting stringent specifications from VOSA, the company’s brand new MOT facility has been approved and is open for bookings from March 2017.
A very exciting future awaits for these new modern facilities for local HGV users to take advantage of. The nearest other HGV MOT facilities are around 20 miles away.
Drury's Past to Present
Drury’s moved from Southrepps to a new site on the North Walsham Industrial Estate in 1983, a move that allowed the business to expand into warehousing for several local businesses. This part of the business has continued to thrive with the company now offering over 50,000 square feet of storage space with the capacity to hold upwards of 5,000 pallets. Later this year, part of a new warehouse building has been allocated to be let to North Walsham Gymnastic Club, another example of how the company supports the local community. The transport operation has also continued to thrive, allowing Drury’s to expand its portfolio of blue- chip customers in the Norfolk region. Running a fleet of over 25 modern trucks throughout the UK, Drury’s has just purchased two new DAF trucks to celebrate the 70th milestone. Recent developments at Drury’s include the acquisition of several local haulage contractor’s buisnesses, including bulk potato haulage for a local growing consortium. The beginning of 2016 saw the start of another new business in the group known as Drury’s Vehicle Services Ltd. The company has invested over £750k in carrying out its own construction of a new building, which will hold a fully approved DVSA (old VOSA) MOT lane. It means that this summer Drury’s will be able to offer MOTs for all makes of vehicles, including 44-ton articulated units, trailers, coaches, camper vans, and all cars and vans. The latest state-of-the-art equipment will be able to offer brake roller checks and tacho calibration services, and the 100ft-long pit will offer a full maintenance service for all commercial and private customers. In 1992, Drury’s moved into the waste and recycling market by purchasing a local skip hire business. This part of the group, now called Drury’s Environmental Services, has developed into a fast-expanding waste and recycling business with modern recycling machinery and equipment helping to prevent waste going to landfill sites; average recycling rates are over 80%. Michael Drury had the foresight in 2003 to purchase 30 acres of additional land backing on to Lyngate Industrial Estate. Through the company, Southrepps Developments Ltd both built and sold many industrial units and warehousing for local businesses to help the development of North Walsham as a business town.
DRURY'S TRANSPORT & WAREHOUSING LTD 70th Anniversary
DRURY’S GROWS WITH NEW DAFS
Drury’s Transport, with three bases across Norfolk, has taken two DAF XF 510 tractors with Super Space Cabs as part of celebrating its 70th year in business.
Richard Harris, a former aircraft engineer with the RAF and owner-driver, and now operations director for the busy East Anglian haulier, said, “We were looking for some new vehicles and this seemed like a great way to do it. We have had a mixture of marques over recent years, always with a strong DAF presence, so we decided to combine getting two really strong performers for our anniversary celebrations. They replaced two 10 year old DAFs with over 2.4m kms between them. They look tremendous and the drivers love the comfort of the cabs and the power in the big DAF engines. That comes in very handy when you’re loaded up with wet, muddy spuds straight out of the field.”
Harris recognises the importance of the manufacturer’s history. DAF has impressed him in the five years he has been with Drury’s. “I like DAFs anyway, having bought my own new 480XF back in 2001, but when you get a manufacturer like DAF that clearly cares about customers and is prepared to help then that just seals the deal for me. DAF are always prepared to go the extra mile and help us out if we need anything, and they have gone out of their way to get to know us and what we need from them.”
On a more pragmatic level, the new vehicles have also given Richard Harris an important opportunity to study the company’s latest venture, which saw it develop its own workshop activity into an independent business operation, in which a new DVSA approved MOT lane has finally gone in to operation in March 2017. He has decided to take only one of the new DAFs on full R&M from the manufacturer, leaving the other to be maintained in Drury’s own service facility. “It will be an interesting learning curve for us, and will give me real-time information on just what we are doing and how well we are doing it. We are installing TomTom Telematics at the moment as well, because we need something we can roll out consistently over the mixed fleet, but are also using the DAF system as a check and measure on these two units specifically,” he said, adding, “I want to compare the results in terms of vehicle up-time and their general performance”.
The family business, based in rural East Anglia at North Walsham in Norfolk, has an understandable volume of seasonal farm produce business. It has seen them develop long-term relationships with big growers in the region, which in turn has sparked three acquisitions in the last 12 months as existing small hauliers who have wanted to retire or decided to drop the work. Of their current fleet of 27 vehicles, nine have come in the last 12 months as a result of such acquisitions. Overall however, the business only has about 30% of its business in agricultural products, with a list of long-standing customers around the region supplying the general haulage business.
After 70 years you’d expect a business to know what it is doing, and under Richard Harris’ experienced control, it clearly does.
Phone: (01692) 668 386